If you ask people if they want to be successful, almost unanimously, they will say yes. But if you watch what people do, you'll see that they are neither interested in, nor committed to, doing the things that are required to become successful.

Most people look for ways to "succeed" by investing the least amount of effort possible. That's why the lottery makes so much money for the government. One dollar can make you extremely rich. If you're extremely lucky.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with looking for ways to become successful with the smallest amount of effort. Luck isn't random happenstance; it's being prepared when the right opportunity comes your way! I have a motto I use quite often when I'm not working, "I worked damn hard to be this lazy!" But the key here is that I worked. I didn't just get lucky and get to be lazy because of it - I earned it.

Over the years I've busted my butt to create a successful website marketing strategy firm. It's had it's ups and downs, not to mention countless long nights and weekends. And whenever I start to feel like I can relax, it seems something comes up, and we have a new push to get us to the next level.

Successful SEO can't be done in a vacuum of search engine algorithms, social media and on-page optimization strategies. There is something even more fundamental to being successful at your SEO efforts than the knowledge needed to carry it out. These are foundational issues that, when applied, will help you not only gain the knowledge you need, but the wherewithal to grow in your success, even through difficult and dry times.

Seven steps to making sure your SEO is successful

Daily Growth: SEO requires a constant education on what the search engines are doing, how that might affect your site, and what new strategies you might need to employ. As rapidly as technology changes, your SEO knowledge yesterday won't always carry you through tomorrow.

Value the Process: SEO isn't about the destination (top rankings) but rather the process that brings constant improvement to your site. Every day you should find some ways to improve your site over yesterday's version. Look for new keywords, opportunities for new content and ways to improve the usability and persuasion processes that will increase conversions.

Don't Wait for Inspiration: Inspiration most often comes after you have started doing something. It's the work itself that inspires thoughts, ideas and strategies. If you're stuck in an SEO rut and don't know what to do next, start doing something. Look at the analtyics, read a blog or strike up a conversation with someone about the site you're working on. Do something to get the creative juices flowing.

Be Willing to Pay Now: There is a saying that says you can pay now or pay later, but you will pay. Be willing to invest heavily in SEO, especially in the early stages. In many cases SEO has to be done in large chunks rather than small bites. Be willing to invest in those large chunks of time. They often lead to greater rewards (sooner rather than) later.

Don't Focus on Your Limitations: There is no SEO in the world that can do everything greatly. Sometimes you have to know what you don't know and find qualified people to do what you can't do. Don't get stuck worrying about what you can't do and work with people who can provide strengths that compensate for your weaknesses.

Master Your Time: SEO can often be an endless process. There is always something more that can, and should, be done. In order to get anything accomplished you have to manage your time wisely. Focus on areas that will provide the best results first, then move on to other areas later. Don't get bogged down in the inessentials.

Trade Up, Not Down: When dealing with clients, developers and owners, the SEO often finds they don't get everything they want. Sometimes you have to make concessions. When you can't do everything, then look for trades that bring more value to you. Trade quantity for quality. Trade time for effectiveness. Trade rankings for conversions. You get the drift.

What's good for SEO is good for business

Each of the tips above can be applied to every area of our lives and in business, not just SEO. They are tried and true principles for success in any arena. It's just the application that varies.

SEO requires patience, determination, hard work and sometimes even sacrificing our perfect ideals. Everybody has a different definition of success. Many clients or SEOs look to rankings as the goal when they should be looking at business growth, conversions and profits. Determine what your real goals are and do what it takes to achieve them. Then you'll be successful at SEO!

Follow at @StoneyD, and @PolePositionMkg.

September 9, 2011

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


Hi Stoney,
can you explain more about "be willing to pay now" step?

Thank you

In SEO there is usually a significant amount of work that goes into it up front; architecture, research, implementation, etc.. If your budget doesn't allow for these stages to be done quickly you'll have to drag them out over several months. Those are ultimately lost months as you won't be able to achieve results in the search engines until those issues are completed.

"As rapidly as technology changes, your SEO knowledge yesterday won't always carry you through tomorrow."

Very true! The constant turnover of technology means there is always a new skill or method you can learn to improve your SEO. Above all else, SEO demands flexibility. If you refuse to change with the times, your site will get left behind.

For the most part seo really hasn't changed tremendously in the last few years. Quality backlinks and Quality Content is the majority of seo

I just started an e-commerce site, and am extrodinarily overwhelmed by all the info. I am, however, fascinated by the wealth of info out there. I have especially enjoyed reading your posts Stoney. I am beginning to see that I may "pay later", if I don't start paying for an SEO company to help me get my store name and recognition out there. I will look forward to reading more of your advice.

Hi Stoney, I completely agree with your post that a good SEO campaign is not limited to on-page optimization or SEO or SMO techniques. Its an on going process and also requires constant updation according to new trends and practices. I also agree to your point that merely top ranking does not guarantee everything. A top ranking won't do any good if at the end of the day there is no customer to pay for your hard work. Also loved the way how you combined SEO techniques with life's meaning. Thanks for sharing this post.

Hi Stoney
"Don't wait for inspiration" - This struck a chord with me because like most people we all do the same thing and finding something new is the hardest thing to do
But like you suggest I am just getting on and doing things .....maybe something simple but brilliant will hit me

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